Several Glass Exhibitions Will Make The City Shimmer In 2007

Glass 2007" aims to set our fair city asparkle this year with displays of colorful, glittering glass spread from Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens to the Senator John Heinz Regional History Center.

Affiliated events will include a glowing selection of presentations by national and international glass art figures at the 37th Annual Conference of the Glass Art Society, which will be held here in June.

Richard Piacentini, Phipps executive director, said it all began in the summer of 2002 when he and his staff heard about a "fabulous" Dale Chihuly glass exhibit at Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory.

They went to see it and, he said, were "totally amazed with how beautiful the exhibit was." The merging of the glass and the vegetation was "just phenomenal -- absolutely gorgeous."

The Phipps staff decided that they had to bring Chihuly to Pittsburgh, but that they would have to do more than a conservatory exhibit because he has shown at several conservatories in recent years.

Piacentini approached nearby Carnegie Museum of Art about collaborating. Not only was the museum interested but also it suggested that Phipps contact the Pittsburgh Glass Center in Friendship, which has established an international reputation since it opened in 2001.

These three organizations formed a planning "nucleus," Piacentini said. "Now, 70 different organizations related to glass are involved."

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